difference between yoga pants and leggings

What Are the Difference between Yoga Pants & Leggings?

Medically reviewd by Ashley Rosa

Writter by Better Yoga Life Staff

Leggings and pants are casual dresses that we wear every day to go for a workout, coffee shop, etc. From a distance, both pants and leggings may appear to be the same thing, until you try doing downward dog and squat poses in thin leggings. Actually, yoga pants are designed for fitness and leggings are designed for loungewear, fashion, or for warm base layer purposes. Yoga pants are made of a thick, stretchy, sweat-wicking material that is ideal for athletic workouts such as running, yoga and the gym. On the other hand, leggings are worn under your clothes to warm your body. There are great differences between yoga pants & leggings in fabrics and styles. Let us give you comprehensive details about these two things.

What are Leggings?

Leggings are thinner than yoga pants and thicker than tights. They are skin-tightening, comfortable, and delicate. Leggings act as warmth; that’s why they are worn under your clothes in winter. These days, leggings are trendy, so you can see women and men everywhere wearing leggings paired with t-shirts or hoodies. But it is accepted that you can’t use these for yoga workouts.

Pros of Leggings:

  • A warm base layer, flexibility, and stretchy properties of leggings give comforting feelings.
  • It’s easy to move while wearing It is inexpensive and affordable.
  • Thin and body-hugging
  • Available in all fabrics, verity, style and patterns

Cons of Leggings:

  • The waistband can’t stay in place
  • Somewhat transparent
  • Thin fabric has a chance to tear while stretching.
  • Not for a yoga workout

Types of Leggings

There are various types and fabrics of leggings.


Cotton leggings are the most commonly used and easily available. These are budget-friendly and have a little bit of spandex. These have millions of colours and styles but become loose in their shape after time. It is somewhat see-through, so they do not use as yoga wear because they hold sweat and moisture and don’t stay at place.


Polyester leggings have better quality than cotton. They are sweat-wicking and have a tendency to hold onto smells. Polyester has the ability to use as for workouts, but mostly they are just fashion leggings.


Wool leggings are the warmest of all other types of lagging materials. Nowadays, merino wool is found in base layer laggings. The person who lives in a cold area or plays winter sports mostly appreciates wool leggings. They are a bit more expensive than cotton leggings.

Faux Leather

Faux leather leggings are ultra-comfy, stretchy, and more reliable than true leather. They are expensive ones. They are great for fashion.


Typically, spandex leggings are see-through and are body-hugging. They are small in size but can stretch out greatly, making them an easy fit for everyone.


The affordability and durability of nylon fabric make the leggings the most popular. They shrink but don’t wrinkle. If nylon is thick, they are great for workouts.

What are Yoga Pants?

Today’s yoga pants are the most popular and modern style. You can easily find someone wearing them. Yoga pants are not exclusively for yogis, but they are best designed to make them more comfortable for yoga practice.

Thickness, stretchiness, and waistband are the key differences between yoga pants and leggings. Yoga pants are thick, so you can’t see through them while moving. They become loose while performing different yoga poses.


  • Not transparent or see-through
  • Easy to move
  • Hold their place during workouts or yoga
  • Waistband stay in place
  • Sweat wicking fabrics
  • Never create restriction to body while moving


  • Yoga pants are more expensive than leggings.

What Are the Different Types of Yoga Pants?

Yoga pants have various styles, sizes, lengths, and materials. To select the best one, focus on your routine.

Maternity Yoga Pants :

Maternity yoga pants are for pregnant women when nothing else fits them. They allow you to stay comfortable and do low-impact maternity exercises.

High-Waisted Yoga Pants:

High-waisted yoga pants easily fit on every waist and have solid waistbands that keep your tummy in place during a workout. They are readily available and popular for their shape and comfort.

Yoga Capris:

Yoga capris are longer than shorts and shorter than pants. Their stretchable and flexible fabrics allow you to move easily. They are fit for a summer outdoor workout.

Tight-Fitting Yoga Pants:

Tight and loose pants have an effect on your yoga routine. Tight pants make your flow easier from one pose to another. Their fabric helps to increase blood flow and boost your flexibility.

Loose-Fitting Yoga Pants:

Sometimes tight-fitting yoga pants cause suffocation and discomfort, so some people wear loose-fitting yoga pants. They are great for stretching and flexibility and are easily available in every style.

Leggings vs. Yoga Pants:

Key Points:

Here is a quick overview of the key differences between leggings and yoga pants.

 LeggingsYoga Pants
StyleSkin-hugging and long enough to cover knee and ankle. Having loose and elastic waist.Available in various styles
MaterialUsually available in cotton, wool, polyester and spandexUsually available in thick material like nylon, and spandex
DurabilityNot suited for workoutHeavy wear and suitable for workout
ComfortVery soft and comfortableComfortable but not as soft.
CostUsually cheaper.Usually more expensive.
Intended UseEvery day wear or for leisurely public wear.Wear for athletic activities

What are the Differences between Leggings and Yoga Pants?

The more obvious differences between leggings and yoga pants are that yoga pants have various styles and stretchy fabrics, but leggings come only in a single unique style.


Leggings are body-hugging fabrics that cling to the leg all the way down. They end either below the knee or ankle. Yoga pants have a loose boot-cut style and a footless tight version.

Yoga pants generally contain more expensive fabric than leggings. They are used for movement rather than sitting around in the house. Leggings have variations in style such as cut-outs, buckles, appliques, bows, and any colour you can imagine.

Type of Material:

Yoga pants and leggings both contain flexible material, but yoga pants are thicker than leggings. You can find all the fabrics in both, such as cotton knit, polyester knit, and nylon knit.

Yoga pants can stretch four-way and provide heavy support. They contain great elasticity to hold the yoga poses.

Leggings also contain specific fabrics like stretch leather and denim. Generally, leggings are soft and very thin. This type of material gives your skin a good feeling but can’t hold up to intense movement.


Typically, yoga pants have greater durability than regular leggings. The types of clothing and the quality of materials make a difference between them. Cotton yoga pants are not for high-performance sports fabrics. Also, some leggings have excellent durability due to their tougher nature, such as jeggings.


This depends on many factors. Leggings often feel more comfortable than yoga pants. First, both have soft, lightweight cotton knit features. There is no difference in comfort because the same fabrics are used in both. Typically, yoga pants are thicker and stretchier. This holds up well while you move from mountain pose to tree pose.


Regular leggings are less expensive than yoga pants. Athletics wear costly yoga pants because high-performance materials are applied in stretchable games.

More generic leggings come in at around $10, but generic yoga pants often cost $20 due to the bit of expensive fabric used in their construction.

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